Moscow Says Kerch Incident Aimed at Triggering Anti-Russia Sanctions Boost

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The FSB reported that the three ships from the Ukrainian Navy, Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yany Kapu, had been detained after violating the Russian state border.

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, the Kerch Strait incident was a Ukrainian provocation, its time, location, form were premeditated.

“Obviously, it was a provocation, with its time, location and form premeditated. The aims [of the provocation] are clear: to shake Ukraine up via imposing martial law, and to mobilize the anti-Russian policies of the West, to step up the anti-Russian sanctions. Obviously, it is easier for [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko to carry out his election campaign amid this background,” Karasin told Sputnik.

The statements come after a 25th of November incident when three ships from the Ukrainian Navy, in violation of Articles 19 and 21 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, crossed the Russian maritime border, entered the temporarily closed area of the country’s territorial waters, and were moving from the Black Sea toward the Kerch Strait, according to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The Ukrainian ships did not react to legal demands of the ships accompanying them and made dangerous manoeuvres, the FSB noted.

Another group of ships was heading for the Kerch Strait from the port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov.

‘Kiev and the West Using Sea of Azov for Provocative Actions’ – Deputy FM

Kiev and the West have chosen the Sea of Azov as a place where Ukrainian provocations could promptly give results able to trigger an international scandal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Sputnik on Monday.

“Unfortunately, our worst fears have proved true: Kiev and the West have chosen the Sea of Azov as a region where Ukrainian provocative actions can promptly give results that are required in order to trigger an international scandal,” Karasin stressed.

He noted that Russia had requested an urgent meeting of UN Security Council members to discuss the situation in the Sea of Azov.

Passage Through Kerch Strait is Open

The passage through the Kerch Strait, connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, which was closed over security reasons on 25 November, was resumed on 26 November, Alexei Volkov, the director general of the Crimean Sea Ports company, told Sputnik.

“Passage through the Kerch Strait is open,” Volkov said.

Earlier on 26 November, a spokesman for the FSB Border Directorate for Crimea, Anton Lozovoy, said that the seized vessels were being escorted to the port of Kerch and that three lightly wounded Ukrainian soldiers had received medical assistance.

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